A blog about new media and it’s role in IMC.

Oprah and the Colonel

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Talk about buzz!

Last week, Oprah Winfrey decided to announce on her show that anyone could go online to her Web site and download a coupon for the KFC 2 piece Grilled Chicken meal.

Well, when Oprah speaks, the people listen. Have you not seen what the woman has done with her book club and favorite things?

The news spread quickly on blogs and on Twitter. The demand was ENORMOUS. So enormous that KFC ran out of the food in many places. Now, people who download the coupon and present it at KFC are being promised a “rain check” coupon to be used later.


Needless to say, the whole thing has turned into a PR nightmare for KFC. Rumors swept the nation saying riots had ensued at several KFC locations when the eateries ran out. The rumor was not true, but needless to say, it had an effect. According to Advertising Age,:

The snafu wasn’t a good sign for a brand setting itself once again to the daunting task of convincing consumers that it’s more than a fried-chicken joint.

“The combination of free food and Oprah is a tsunami,” said crisis expert Robbie Vorhaus. “Clearly KFC wasn’t ready.” He added to the adage that while one good customer can earn you another and one bad customer can lose you 10, one crisis of this nature can lose you 100 customers for every one turned away

‘Nuff said. Next time Oprah and the Colonel team up, maybe they should plan the battle a bit better so they don’t lose the war.

Written by fsk50a

May 14, 2009 at 2:00 am

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